Otter Valley field hockey blanks Slaters, moves to 4-0

BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union High School field hockey team’s early-season roll continued on Monday, when the Otters earned a convincing 3-0 win over visiting Fair Haven.
OV improved to 4-0 by defeating the 0-3 Slaters and has outscored its opposition by 12-2.
On Monday, senior co-captain and four-year starter Brittany Bushey sparked the offense with two goals, while the OV defense allowed just one shot on freshman goalie Myliah McDonough, who earned her third straight shutout.
The Otters also showed crisp ball movement to go with strong hitting as they controlled play throughout. The Slaters worked hard and defended well, but couldn’t match the more experienced Otters’ skills and passing.
Bushey said so far, so good for OV.
“We’re really coming together and playing really as a team this year, and I think it’s starting to show,” she said. “Everybody is talking on the field. I can tell where someone is. I don’t have to talk to them. We’ve been playing together for a while, so it’s starting to mesh.”
Second-year coach Stacey Edmunds-Brickell said the Otters have the talent to go with work ethic and teamwork.
 “They work hard at practice. Their attitude is good. They all get along on the field. I think there is good chemistry,” Edmunds-Brickell said. “But certainly we can’t pretend we don’t have girls with skill. That helps.”
Early on, the Slaters’ hustle kept the Otters in check, even though OV tested FH goalie Jenna Alexander in the second minute. Sophomore middie Maia Edmunds drove the ball into the circle from the right side, and junior inner Kylee Bissette one-timed the ball toward the near corner, only to see Alexander (10 saves in a strong effort) kick it away. Slater defenders Makayla Ferguson-Reid and Marissa Lamoureux also broke up several OV plays.
As the game wore on, play tilted more and more toward the Slater end. It started with the OV back line, where senior Olivia Bloomer in the middle and senior Alexia Colburn and sophomore Ann Manning on the flanks stepped up to break up plays and send the ball back up to the OV middies.
“Our defense is playing great. Myliah, who is our first-year goal, she’s been doing a great job. But our defense is really holding us together,” Bushey said. “They’re coming up quite far, but we don’t have to worry about the ball getting past them.”
At midfield, Edmunds and juniors Laura Beth Roberts and Marissa Colburn controlled play and created chances for Bushey and Bissette in the middle and junior Jenna Elliott and freshman Allison Lowell on the wings.
The pressure paid off in 17 OV penalty corners to none for the Slaters, and a 12-1 edge in shots on goal. OV cashed in on three of the corners, the first with 12:57 to go in the first half.
Roberts sent the ball in to Edmunds, who relayed to her left to Bushey near the top of the circle. Bushey then found the lower left corner. Six minutes later the Otters moved the ball around the top to Bissette to the left of the goal. She sent the ball across to Roberts for the tip-in at the far corner.
If anything, the Otters kept the ball even more in the second half, when they earned 12 corners. Twice Alexander made fine saves on Elliot, and she also did well to stop Bushey and Edmunds.
OV got its final goal on its 17th corner. Alexander came out to deny both Elliot and Lowell near the left post, but the rebound went to Bushey in the middle of the circle, and she wristed it home at 1:32.
The Otters played without senior forward Emily Lowell, who received an updated diagnosis on a knee injury suffered last week that indicated it was more serious than initially feared. Edmunds-Brickell said she held out some hope that Lowell could return, but it is an open question.
Regardless, the Otters remain confident, although Bushey said she is refusing to look too far ahead.
“We’re going one game at a time. You never know what is going to happen,” Bushey said.
Edmunds-Brickell said she and the Otters are optimistic. 
“I have all the confidence in the world in this group,” she said. “I think they can go far.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

Share this story:

More News
Sports Uncategorized

MAV girls’ lax nets two triumphs

The Mount Abraham-Vergennes cooperative girls’ lacrosse team moved over .500 with a pair o … (read more)

Op/Ed Uncategorized

Hector Vila: The boundaries of education

There is a wide boundary between the teacher and the student, found most profoundly in col … (read more)

Naylor & Breen Uncategorized

Naylor & Breen Request for Proposals

Naylor and Breen 042524 2×4.5 OCCC RFP

Share this story: